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Air Awakens #1

Air Awakens

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A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world.

Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

342 pages, Paperback

First published August 27, 2015

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About the author

Elise Kova

39 books13k followers
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ELISE KOVA is a USA Today bestselling author. She enjoys telling stories of fantasy worlds filled with magic and deep emotions. She lives in Florida and, when not writing, can be found playing video games, drawing, chatting with readers on social media, or daydreaming about her next story.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,607 reviews
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
October 5, 2016
“I want a place you hardly dare to even whisper. I want the bravery to not only read, but to do. I want a man, not a library boy. A man who is tall and witty and knows more about the world than you would ever dare dream.”


This book was utter perfection!! Mix elemental magic with war and schemings and court rivalries and romance and a prince to die for and BOOM! Air Awakens happens. And a seriously embarassing dancing session.

“Vhalla, you are a sorcerer.”

Vhalla is a library apprentice whose world evolves around books and only books (stop staring at me mom), until one day she accidentally saves the crown prince's life and the Minister of Sorcery informs her that she is a sorcerer as well. While you or me would monkey dance at this prospect, Vhalla isn't as excited, since she and everyone in the South hates sorcerers and magic in general. Needless to say, Vhalla gradually comes around, with a little push (pun intended) from the crown prince who is also known as the Fire Lord (and everyone thinks of him as an arrogant bastard), and she discovers the potential but also the danger she faces as the last Windwalker.
“Fire needs air to live. Air fuels fire, stokes it, and makes it burn brighter and hotter than it ever could alone. But too much air will snuff it completely, just as too many flames will consume all the air. They are far greater than the sum of their parts together, but are equally as dangerous to each other's existence.”

Elise Kova is hands down an extremely talented author. Even though she introduced us into a brave new world with its own geography, history, religion and magic system, everything was woven with precision by hands that knew exactly what they were doing. Her writing is flawless, she manages to capture your attention since the first chapter and make you invested in the story and the characters. I even tried to manipulate the air around me (it was a long shot I know but I had to try. Maybe I have another Affinity?) but alas! magic is not my thing, so I had to live vicariously through Vhalla and it felt good.
“Because, Vhalla, you think and you watch, but you never do. You can read all the books in this library, be wiser than the master himself someday, and then you will die having never really done anything. You will have only ever lived through everyone else's experiences.”

It is safe to say that Vhalla did the same thing. I didn't like her at first because she was really narrow-minded and throughout the book she was meek to the wrong people, but her character development is astonishing so yeah, I eventually grew fond of her. There was also a parade of intriguing characters that supported the story and perplexed things and made everything even more interesting. And then there was Aldrik.
"I may be a prince," he said as his lips brushed her ear lightly. "But I would trade it all to be a common man, even if only for tonight."

He and Vhalla had the typical I-want-to-punch-you-and-then-kiss-you relationship that had me drooling and giggling and blushing. I was mesmerized by him. He was not a good person, just a heartless and snobbish prince who didn't inspire love or affection to his subjects, but he was misunderstood and he barely showed that he had a soft side. Their romance was a flame so bright that consumed me whole, it combined angst, tension, jealousy and tenderness, it turned my insides into a volcano. Prince Aldrik Solaris, welcome to my book boyfriends short-list.

Fire Falling can't come fast enough.

(A special thanks to Rachel E.Carter's review that convinced me to read this masterpiece ❤)

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Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,512 followers
January 27, 2023
"I may be a prince," he said as his lips brushed her ear lightly. "But I would trade it all to be a common man, even if only for tonight."


Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
June 6, 2021
ah! not me starting another series when i have so many others i need to finish. 🙈

but this is an exceptionally quick read. if the subsequent books have the same fast pacing and easy-to-read writing, i may actually try to finish this series soon. the content is also quite entertaining. there are a lot of similarities between this and ‘avatar’ - different regions are able to control one of the four elements with the MC being the last person being able to manipulate wind/air and only her abilities can help stop a war. but there are also enough unique components to make the story its own.

the only thing i wanted more of is the bond. you know i love a romance that blooms due to a forced connection/proximity and the bond totally makes that possible. but its only mentioned, like, twice and not even really utilised. dont be shy - give the MCs a feyre/rhys level kind of bond. they (and readers) deserve it.

regardless, this is a great start to a series and i feel tempted to pick up the next book very soon.

4 stars
Profile Image for Luna. ✨.
92 reviews1,233 followers
July 30, 2017

I feel the need to press charges against this novel for misleading me to believe that it might have been cool. The cover is a promise of beauty and badassery but instead we got this;
I truly feel this is a more appropriate cover for this novel.

Let me firstly start this rant off by laughing at some goodreads users. The other day I posted a status saying 'dog shit is more interesting then this novel'. I literally got deleted by five people in my friends list! Like if you can't handle the heat from the roast, you should totally block and delete me asap. Because it's about to get hot and salty in this kitchen...

So I understand that this is definitely an unpopular opinion and I also understand that this book is aimed at a younger audience. However I have read some fantastic YA fantasy books in my time and I did actually compare those novels to this one while reading, I really should have lowered my expectations however when I see a beautiful cover and a promising blurb my expectations will go through the roof. This book is shelved as 'fantasy' what a load of shite, this was all about the romance with some magic in the background which is sad because the magic system was very promising and seemed unique. However when there's only a whole bunch of giggling, "omg the prince totally likes me" and eyelashes flickering at cute angsty boys, my interest is going to be non existent, even if the magic system is cool. Please don't get me wrong the writing in this novel is easy to follow, well done and good, however this is a big case of its not you its me. I absolutely hate romance with a passion and regret even having to write this roast for this novel because it isn't actually bad at all. It's just obviously not for me. I could imagine my 13 year old self loving and squealing over this book, but my 25 year old self was very disinterested.
I will however recommend this novel to my younger cousins and my friends who are trash for romance. But that's about it. My copy is in the process of being burnt.

Time to get down to business and state the reason why I didn't give a shit about this book. Firstly this book STINKS of samey sameness. I have seen these themes used a hundred times, this novel was basically avatar:the last air bender but with annoying angsty teens. Yes the magic system was unique but for me the author didn't pull the storyline off, instead she picked by the book "how to write a cliche book full of tropes for dummies", this novel was so full of cliches it was disgusting. There was nothing new contained in this novel. Firstly let's start by talking about the whole special snow flake that is chosen to be the last of her kind trope.. Yep that one was definitely contained in this novel. Also the I'm small and have nothing going for me oh and I'm also plain and awkward trope & there was fainting because Vhalla is weak and a pussy. I feel like I'm forgetting a few tropes that were used.. Oh yeah there was the whole INSTA love triangle which gives me INSTA RAGE. There's another trope that I'm sick of seeing and that's whiny annoying teenagers in YA books.. like hello not very teen is annoying!! nearly every teen I know is clever, level headed & funny, yes they can sometimes be immature but so can i (as you can tell from this review), and I'm 25. Why are we always seeing the same teens portrayed over and over? The permanently immature, indecisive & extremely annoying female who never stops whining, fainting & being a pussy. Oh and don't forget the whole "im not good enough so I'm going to cut off all my plain Jane hair"? Then we have the "I'm too good for life angsty prince" who is a jerk & an abuser. Please don't say he is not an abuser, I know abusive characters.. I can smell them for a mile away. Seriously I'm like a rabid dog when it comes to abusers. He freaking grabbed Yhalla's face until it hurt her and that's abuse! He is rude af to her. "He slapped at her fingers then grabbed her chin, forcing her face up to look at his. The jerking motion was painful, and she barely managed to suppress a whimper. Vhalla was fairly certain he would’ve liked that even less.” did I forget to mentioned his also plain but beautiful? Anyway I could literally list why I hated this novel for another 100,000 words but I'm actually sick of thinking about this crappy novel so I'm gonna stop being salty now & I'm sure everyone is praying that I'll end the rant soon.

Please remember peeps this review is just my opinion and I actually understand why this book is so hyped by younger readers and people who love romance. This was definitely not for me. Everyone who has a daughter under 14, should go out and buy them this series because I'm sure they would love it, like even the 'violence' was fluffy and kinda cute.

Buddy read with my homies; Sana, Choko, Wifey (who loved it and wishes our relationship was this full of eyelash flickering), Maggie (who read it in seriously like ten minutes and wrote a fantastic review which is much nicer then mine.).

Ps. What's up with the chicks hand on the cover? Don't get me wrong the cover is so beautiful, but why is the hand coming out of her stomach?

Profile Image for High Lady of The Night Court.
135 reviews5,083 followers
April 27, 2019
As I’m writing this I’m pretty sure I’m dying with the anticipation for the next book. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I love every single part of this book. The plot was engaging since the very first page, the characters have had huge personalities that demand attention, and the world has so much potential which I’m sure will be achieved as I continue with the series. I’ve been completely lost in this book since I’ve started it, I finished it in one sitting and it not slow down for a second.

For some books, it takes time to warm up to the characters, this is definitely not one of them. The protagonist, Vhalla, has the best personality which I could see from the beginning. The story is about Vhalla, who is currently an apprentice at the imperial library, discovering her magic when she saves the prince. I won’t say more about the plot because you really shouldn’t know any more than that.
Vhalla loves books and is constantly reading, she’s undoubtedly the best person to show us this world. While being imbued with knowledge about her world she remains ignorant about the world of magic because magic is widely feared and condemned. As Vhalla learns more about magic, we get pulled along with her into a fantastical journey that I’m positive will blow my mind.

I am completely in love with Prince Aldrik. He is dark and mysterious. The rumours about him are that he is arrogant, selfish, mercurial, and possibly evil. Who are we trying to fool, we all love a dark, mysterious, and misunderstood character.
If any of you are marvel fans, Prince Aldrik is like Loki in the way that he is the dark prince compared to his younger brother who happens to be the golden prince who everyone loves. But here he is the older brother and is going to, one day, take up the mantle of Emperor. There is no enmity between the brothers but I wouldn’t say they are close either.
Prince Aldrik has a wall up around himself that no one can penetrate, which is probably one of the reasons why he is not close to his brother.

The book is written expertly and shows us exactly what we need to see. The plot maintained a steady pace throughout the book. Every chapter served a purpose to carry the plot forward, to reveal more about our characters, or both. Given the events of this book I am pretty sure that the next one will be more eye opening on the stance of magic and of the war going on between the kingdoms. As the story moves forward in this book we are introduced to a lot of characters who I expect to play a big role in guiding our protagonist through the events of the next book.

The concept of magic is unique while having the basis of the elements - Fire, Water, Wind, and Air. While the other aspects to the magic have been revealed slightly, I believe there is more depth of information waiting to be revealed in the coming books.

The characters work very well together and I look forward to seeing how their relationships will evolve as we move forward. There is quite a bit of character development for both Vhalla and Prince Aldrik but in different ways. Vhalla is exposed to new things that she wasn’t prior to the events of this book resulting in her eyes opening to the harsher ways of the empire and Prince Aldrik might just have some growth emotionally.
I loved this book and look forward to all the rest.
Profile Image for Stuti.
451 reviews71 followers
May 25, 2016
Read this super long review on my blog too.

FIRST THOUGHTS: no no no. Definitely needed another round of editing, but that's not the biggest of my problems. Barely anything happens, worldbuilding what worldbuilding, a love interest who is part creep, part asshole, and occasional sensitive guy (because like, readers have to have SOMEthing right), a love square...This is going to be a long and ranty review.

This book. This book. Air Awakens was absolutely riddled with bad writing; Vhalla’s ‘indecision’ was pretty much the entire story; she has a whole lot of cliche not-flaws (false modesty, anyone?)…I could go on for ages about why this book didn’t work for me. Skip to the end for the TL;DR version.


Sorcerers were odd, they were dangerous; they kept to themselves and left normal people alone. That was why they had their own Tower, so they kept out of sight and mind. Everyone in the South had always told her so. It was the last place she belonged.

Vhalla has a quiet life in the enormous Imperial Library, tending to books and sneaking in some reading time, until the night her frantic research saves the Crown Prince’s life. Suddenly the Minister of Sorcery is taking a personal interest in her, because it turns out that she is a sorcerer too. Vhalla is convinced that there’s some kind of mistake, and that magic isn’t her thing, so she spurns the Minister’s offer and returns to do some research of her own. A mysterious stranger starts leaving letters for her, and they keep up a lively correspondence about magic until ‘The Phantom’ finally reveals himself—it’s the Crown Prince.

He then pushes her off a tower.

I wish I was joking.

He pushes her off a tower to Awaken her powers, and when she wakes up days later, in horrible pain, with broken bones and serious bodily damage, he happily informs her that the fact that she survived means she must be a Windwalker, the first one in years. Now Vhalla has a month to decide whether she will keep her strange magic—magic that could turn the tide of the war for world domination her Empire is fighting—or have it completely removed.

The premise is interesting enough, and I could’ve been on board this plot if not for the fact that Vhalla barely does anything herself. Things happen to her. Vhalla is kidnapped! Vhalla is pushed off a tower! There’s no real plot or progression of events. And the central, climactic event? Don’t even get me started. But overall, the plot wasn’t as bad for me as the other aspects of this book were.

Air Awakens really, really needed another round of editing. There are loads of grammatical errors and examples of awkward, confusing, or plain incorrect sentence construction. The dialogue tags! Oh, stars, the dialogue tags!

The thing is, writing a book is a complete coin-toss with respect to the actual story, the matter of the book. That’s subjective. You can never be certain that your readers will love your book. You can, however, be certain that the quality of language is as high as it possibly can be. Disappointing, and unprofessional.

…when the hairs at the nape of her neck raised on end.

Rose. Not raised.

Soldiers – your father – came home because the magical warriors of the Black Legion.

Pinned to the man’s breast was a symbol she knew well. She would know that symbol—a symbol that hovered over her every waking hour— better than any in the world.

What’s with the tenses?

It was actually Vhalla who felt shamed when the woman began to clean up her spew that puddled on the floor.

Vhalla may be a bad liar but that wouldn’t stop her from looking for a lie in others.


Vhalla couldn’t suppress a small giggle, it was the first time she laughed in a week, and it made her whole body feel lighter.

It was about time that she met a sorcerer with gentle and happy manner.

“This isn’t going to work,” she muttered doubtfully. Her conviction quickly vanishing.

“Take care of yourself,” Larel demanded gently.

Help. Please help me.

“I understand,” Larel nodded and said with a tone that made Vhalla believe her.

The kitchens served a small cake with tea or lunches for nobles and royals. White sugar glaze on top, Vhalla coveted the spongy yellow sweet throughout the year.

So Vhalla has white sugar glaze on top of her? Modifiers!

Giant stands extended up from the wall that were supposed to be reminiscent of the sun’s rays.

More modifiers!

…at her eyes continued refusal to focus.

…trying to avoid the silence from stretching on for too long.

…but it was the trace of worry between his brows did not reassure Vhalla.

…the Emperor boomed warmly, not unlike Prince Baldair she thought amusingly.

…She would be torture for Aldrik to watch her die.

“And your black robe,” she said very matter of fact.

The Solaris Empire was interesting, and sort of reminiscent of the Fire Nation from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I wish we’d understood more about the worldbuilding though, because this book conveys it either through Vhalla’s letters with Aldrik—very confusingly, and by no means thoroughly—or through her research. Pretty sure that’s almost as bad as worldbuilding explained in a lesson. Also, the magic system? We know next to nothing. What is Awakening, what is Eradication, what are the Channels? Honestly, we should be learning right alongside Vhalla, but none of this is ever explained to us properly despite the fact that she spends half the book reading about it. You can’t avoid an info-dump by not giving the reader any information at all.


I am not special. I have never been someone who is special.

She was a library apprentice, no one—less than.

Vhalla had always been jealous of Roan’s hair and generally everything else about her. Vhalla’s hair was a dark brown mess of frizz and untamable waves; Roan’s fell in beautiful curls. Southerners were lucky with their light skin and features. Even the Gods were shown that way. Vhalla felt perpetually inadequate compared to Southerners and Westerners. Those in the East had yellow-hued skin with dark brown eyes and wavy hair. Nothing was fantastic about her.

Her dark brown eyes—flecked with gold…

I thought I’d be free of this kind of heroine forever. Vhalla is the kind of MC that haunts my nightmares. She’s a total special snowflake with barely any redeeming qualities. She thinks she’s plain and unattractive—with a bonus of mild racism!—and she has one prince and one hot childhood friend tripping over their feet to get at her, plus another handsome prince who thinks she’s beautiful. She only comes to accept this after the latter commissions a makeover for her. I’m sick to death of this. If a character is unattractive, she should just be unattractive. False modesty is enormously irritating. She thinks she’s smart, but she hardly uses her common sense—she doesn’t use any kind of proper etiquette around Aldrik after the second time they meet. She goes straight to calling him a pain! She’s completely indecisive about her magic, and doesn’t even try to find out more aside from her books and what other people tell her. She could at least have tried! Vhalla is not the kind of character I’d root for.

Vhalla seems to be a person of colour. Then why does the book cover have a blonde white girl on it? The second book’s cover does too. I thought we were past this whitewashing nonsense, come on.

Not! Developed! Well enough! Vhalla’s best friend Roan randomly morphs into some demonic mean girl at the end; her other friend Sareem plays the role of Poor Friendzoned Childhood Friend (hello, Simon Lewis without a personality!). Larel, another sorcerer, doesn’t display much of a personality either. Baldair is the typical heartbreaking prince. Only one character could really be called developed, and I wish he hadn’t even existed.

Crown Prince Aldrik, our love interest, is possibly five people in one body. This lovely Jerk With a Heart of Gold could push you off a tower, insult you mercilessly, or actually act like a decent human being, all depending on his mood! As a love interest, he’s super-problematic, which I will discuss later, and he’s absolutely unoriginal. He’s literally every creepy YA love interest, in a high fantasy setting. He’s also arrogant, superior, and an all-around a-hole. It was not nice knowing him.

There are no proper villains here because guess what! There’s barely any conflict until the random climax, which introduces random villains that required a better understanding of the Empire’s war situation. Not good enough.


He slapped at her fingers then grabbed her chin, forcing her face up to look at his. The jerking motion was painful, and she barely managed to suppress a whimper. Vhalla was fairly certain he would’ve liked that even less.

“Stay there,” he spoke slowly. “Stay on the floor where you belong. You are like a pathetic little worm who only wants to sit in the dirt when I was prepared to give you a chance to grow wings and fly.”

Wasn’t that super hawt? Can’t you really feel the love? These are from Aldrik and Vhalla’s first interactions. I get that he’s supposed to be a ‘bad boy’ or whatever, but I simply do not understand how one gets past being physically and verbally abused. This is exactly what Aldrik does to her. He brings a whole new meaning to kiss/kill. Ladies, this tumultuous romance could literally have you tumbling from a tower window! Isn’t that so exciting? Comes with free bodily harm! And of course, Vhalla being Vhalla, the very next time she sees him after he calls her a pathetic little worm, she’s joking around with him because she’s seen his sensitive side, or whatever.

What? Is this what you want to teach girls? That guys like this can be forgiven because they’re insecure?! He literally could’ve got her killed. And this is his logic:

“Because air cannot hurt Windwalkers, like fire cannot hurt Firebearers,” he pointed out.

Listen, buddy, let me teach you something about the world. When you fall out of a building, you don’t die because the wind hits you too hard. You die because of your impact. Because you hit the earth. If she’d randomly started floating, or something, I would’ve bought that. But she fell! Completely! And apparently there was no other way to Awaken her powers? This guy is as unstable as a radioactive nucleus, and she apparently has a magical bond with him.

But she remembered the words of the minister; the prince had been the one who had taken her to the Tower in the first place, and she likely would’ve died without that.

Honey, you likely would’ve died because he pushed you out of a window.

If that wasn’t bad enough, we have Sareem, who’s apparently hopelessly in love with Vhalla, God knows why. And we get this beautiful gem:

She had actually agreed to a date of sorts with Sareem. Sareem! But what else was she to do when he kissed her?

What the hell.

Not only do we suffer through this dreadful love triangle, it expands to become a square and possibly a pentagon. I’m not going to tell you who’s involved, but suffice to say it is bad.

The climactic fight/event was interesting, foreshadowed okay, and written well enough, but. BUT. It’s all about Prince Aldrik. It kills me that even though Vhalla is enormously powerful and a key weapon, the reason she gets into danger is Aldrik. The climax of her story is not even because of her; it revolves entirely around him. She’s powerful and she’s your main character and she’s stepping up to her responsibilities and of course the ‘bad guys’ only use her against the Crown Prince. Gag.

Disclaimer, loads of people have rated this five stars. You could enjoy this. But be prepared for:
-bad plot
-bad love interest
-love triangle/square thing
-annoying special snowflake heroine

I wouldn’t recommend this book.
757 reviews2,348 followers
April 1, 2018
was i on drugs the first time i read this? probably. well holy shit this was so good??

I was going to start the next book but then I realized i don't remember a single thing from this book aside from hating this.

BR and reread with some rude chick.

You know what I actually had very high expectations from this one because everyone's been praising this and the magic is like the last airbender. Instead of an awesome high fantasy, I get a book filled with boring bullshit, whiny characters and an asshole of a love interest.

The first 60 pages of this book had me confused as fuck. Someone told me this had a love triangle and I assumed it was between the two prince's, Baldair and Aldrik. (ahahaha Bald Air, get it?? no? okay.) I was so confused as to which prince Vhalla was referring to. Like, did she save Baldair or Aldrik? Which one of the prince's did she meet in the library? I AM CONFUSION.


The asshole, abusive Aldick is introduced!!!!!! This guy grabbed Vhalla's chin and roughly pulled her face up. She winced and she was scared to make a sound afraid Aldrik would get angry. Um, yeah goodbye, this guy can choke on a fireball. And wait, that's not even the worst part yet. He. Pushes. Her. Off. The. Roof. He thought that she wouldn't fall because of some and I get his perspective, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that Vhalla almost fucking died and he didn't fucking care.

Their romance is so fucking cringe and petty, like girl, you do not need a fucking asshole like this in your life, please. You are much better without him.

And Vhalla is such a freaking cry baby. Can you stop crying about how miserable everything is??? and go fucking do something about it. Stop letting an asshole abuse and push you around. Stop crying and DO SOMETHING. She was beyond annoying and petty.

The writing is really easy to read and I flew through this. I would like it if the magic and world building was a bit more explained because it was very intriguing and I would love to read more about it.

Overallz this is filled with cliché's and bullshit.
Profile Image for Elise Kova.
Author 39 books13k followers
January 30, 2019
This was my debut novel and I'll always have a special place in my heart for it. I love using review sections as an author to give information about the book! That being said...

If you want to know more about the world of Air Awakens, I have a page on my site with useful info: http://elisekova.com/the-world-of-air...

I also have some questions about Air Awakens on my website's FAQ: http://elisekova.com/about/

Additionally, the first series is a completed five book series. You can get them individually, or as part of a boxed set (which is 50% off if you get it that way). The series on Kindle Unlimited, meaning that the ebooks are only available through Amazon. If you do not have a kindle, email proof of purchase to elise.kova.author[at]gmail[dot]com and I will send a link for you to read the book on any ereader.

Boxed Set: http://mybook.to/AirAwakensBoxedSet
Fire Falling, Book Two: http://elisekova.com/air-awakens-book-2/
Earth's End, Book Three: http://elisekova.com/book-three/
Water's Wrath, Book Four: http://elisekova.com/air-awakens-book...
Crystal Crowned, Book Five: http://elisekova.com/air-awakens-book...

The Golden Guard Trilogy was released later. It's three books that are short prequel stories about the formation of the Golden Guard that have points of view from each guard member. These are currently available in all places ebooks are sold but will be moved into Kindle Unlimited soon.

The Crown's Dog, Book One: http://elisekova.com/the-crowns-dog-g...
The Prince's Rogue, Book Two: http://elisekova.com/the-princes-rogue/
The Farmer's War, Book Three: http://elisekova.com/the-farmers-war/

There is a sequel series, set 18 years after the events of Air Awakens. But readers can start with either AIR AWAKENS or VORTEX VISIONS (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles, #1) as they both have their own contained story.

Vortex Visions, Book One: http://elisekova.com/vortex-visions-a...
(The rest of the series is scheduled to be released in 2019.)
Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,934 followers
August 29, 2021
1.75 stars

I had honestly forgotten how annoying cliché books can be until I read Air Awakens. This book was an unwelcome reminder. It just lacks originality and mimics stories that we have seen a countless number of times before.

Truth be told, the premise sounded promising. Vhalla discovers her hidden powers in a world where magic is feared. However prince Aldrik guides her.
He helps her learn what she is capable of doing with her powers before she decides whether she wants to eradicate them or join other sorcerers.
Her powers are a rare thing to the extent that if they ever become publicly known, the emperor would want to use them against the Northerners in attempt to expand the Solaris Empire’s borders so that the once 4 kingdoms, become one.

spoilers ahead

One cannot help but notice the striking similarity between this world and the world of Avatar the last Airbender. There are 4 kingdoms, West firebearers, north groundbreakers, south water benders sorry waterruner, and finally east windwalkers. However, no windwalkers appeared for over 130 years. Had it been done right, I would’ve loved it. Unfortunately it's not.

Now let’s count the clichés and find out how similar this book is to Avatar the last airbender:

➀ Vhalla (whom I read constantly read as Valhalla because her name is so silly) is an Airbender!! Wow!
➁ The West aka Fire Nation (it was called otherwise in the book but I don’t care) is conquering the rest of the kingdoms!!
➂ She falls in love with the prince. Of course, nobody likes him (is this a lame attempt to make another Zuko?) However she knows him better than anyone else. He’s good deep down. *eye roll*
➃ The North aka Groundbreakers is still standing strong against the Fire Nation.
➄ Her guy best friend is friend zoned but not at the beginning. Which means that we have a love rectangle (+ the prince's brother).
➅ Everyone thinks she’s so pretty but she finds herself plain and not good looking at all.
➆ She doesn’t want her powers, oh no! Sorcerers are baaadd.
➇ Her powers are so strong that she can wield them without practice!
➉ She’s a poor, self-pitying apprentice who gets the chance to go to a ball, of course. How could it be complete otherwise?

Vhalla is your usual YA heroine, a natural talent. She’s also a bookworm. She works at the library and oh she’s smart, or so does everybody believe.
I think that she’s stupid. I don’t get too excited when I learn that the heroine loves books. I FUCKIN HATE IT. I always see it as as an attempt by the author to make us relate to the MC. I don’t mind it if it's mentioned casually that she reads but just not a professional reader. After all, I have myself. Just no.

Anyway, back to Vhalla, she’s so weak, IMMATURE, and whiny. She’s always doubting herself and oh I’m so innocent but I’ll stand up to myself. I’m so awkward and I don’t like people. Neither can I see that my best friend is in love with me nor that my other best friend is in love with him even though she keeps asking about him. Oh, I was so shocked after I had learned the truth. Okay, okay, I’ll go out with him because that’s what I’m supposed to do. After all, he comes from a good family. I don’t like him more than a friend but well... I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE WAS THINKING FOR GOD’S SAKE.

If you haven’t already noticed, I didn’t like Vhalla. If the MC doesn’t impress me, the book won’t either. She refused to embrace her po wers only because sorcerers are rumored to be evil even though this smartass heroine loves books and is so intelligent, she has never before read their history (which shows not all of them are, of course). She’s from the east and knows 0 stuff about her country. She also cries. ALL THE DAMN TIME. She needs someone to protect her and she’s just pathetic! That’s not the kind of heroines I like. She didn’t even bother to check on her best friend after she had gotten injured! She made me angry when Sareem had run away after she told him she’s sorcerer! It’s fuckin stupid because she was horrified when she discovered what she is!! WTH!

Aldrik is a rude self-centered 28 year-old guy trying to be the bad boy no deep down I'm good, love interest. I don’t think this should be a YA if the lover is older than 20. At the beginning,I hated him. He fuckin pushed her over a cliff!!!! He hadn't bothered to apologize until WAY later and AFTER she forgave him. The fall broke all of her bones but it’s okay because he awakened all of her powers. How did this exactly happen? No idea. Apparently, the crown prince failed to remember that sometimes people die before they hit the ground (from shock/heart attack). He is just an asshole and there’s nothing sexy about him. One can't help but to wonder how could she still trust him after what he had done? However, I didn’t hate him by the end of the book –which is still something- but I can’t forgive him for what he had done.

The other characters are there only to serve the story. They have little personality and no character development.

Romance took over the book. There amount of action and meaningful things happening was negligible until the end draws near! The romance really made me cringe and I wasn’t swooning because Aldrik always spoke shit about her (and to her). He abused her at the beginning. There is absolutely nothing good about him except for the side we saw later but it was only to serve the romance. I mean come on, broken dark prince??? It’s been used way too much before.

Now we move on to the world-building. THE NON EXSISTENT WORLD-BUILDING. There is Nothing of that! Absolutely nothing!
I have so many questions that I was hoping that I could find out their answers by the end of the book but I didn't. For instance, How did the Fire Nation conquer the other kingdoms? Why (a bit more details)? How does the awakening happen? How can someone be eradicated? What happened to the Wind Walkers? Is the water nation content with what’s happening? POLITICS??? HOW DOES THIS DAMN MAGIC WORK? How on Earth did pushing her awaken her powers! How does this awakening happen?! Mind you that these are not the only ones I have there is plenty more but the point is clear.

However what annoyed me the most is not the lack of world-building or the awful characters. It is the fact that nobody has ever stopped for a minute to think about the North. After they attacked at the end, vhalla will definitely stand against them. Now, I have no idea if this issue will be handled in later books nor do I care because it should’ve been mentioned here. She never stopped to think that maybe they attacked because the Solaris Empire is invading their lands! Nope. She never wondered if they had every right to defend their country and thus, their attack is reasonable. She didn't even care that the Fire Nation killed all of her ancestors. THIS MADE ME SO ANGRY.

I wish I can say that the writing saved the day. It makes the book even worse. From Skipped words to grammar mistakes, incorrect tenses, and bad editing etc. To be fair, I know that this is a self-published book and I shouldn’t be that harsh in my judgment. However, many of these issues can be fixed with a reread. Moreover, regarding the editing, anyone knows that in dialogues, whenever a new narrator speaks you press “enter”. It is as simple as that. There is also inconsistency. Many times we couldn’t understand what was really happening until later and not for the mystery’s sake but more like “I forgot to mention it” mistake.

Conclusion : I didn’t enjoy this book though It had potential. I have always wondered what an Avatar book would look like, if that’s the case, no, please. I prefer not knowing. Undeveloped annoying characters, non-existent world-building, and bad writing, I couldn’t find a single thing to like about this book. Thus, I will be lowering my original rating from 2 to 1 star. I wish this book went right. I knew I won’t like it but it was so promising. Needless to say, I will not read the sequels because I don’t care about the story.
January 24, 2019

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I saw someone in my feed post a status update today about hating books that you might have otherwise liked because of the main character and - um, yup, feeling that pretty hard right now. AIR AWAKENS was one of the most frustrating books I've read in a while because it had a lot of potential, but a lot of that potential was squandered away on Vhalla, the Worst Heroine in the World.

AIR AWAKENS is very similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender in that it takes place in a fantasy land where certain people have magic powers, each based on one of the four elements. Each part of the world is known for possessing a certain type of these magical powers and yup, air, the rarest, was wiped out by an enemy kingdom and our heroine, Vhalla, is the Last Airbender. Oops, I mean Airwalker. She finds this out by complete accident due to her magic powers oozing themselves like magic snot all over an envelope that finds its way into the hands of a trained sorcerer, who then pays her a little visit and patiently walks her through her powers and explains to her who and what she is -

LOL jk, the sorcerer is Prince Aldrik and he pretends to be the Phantom of the Library (no, seriously, he signs his notes "Phantom") and leaves her little notes in the books that she's reading that are half-insult, half-hints at greater knowledge he won't share. When he finally introduces himself to her in person, he asks her if she's ever masturbated before (no, seriously) and then pushes her off a roof.




The argument for this is that her falling is necessary to be Awoken ... but she doesn't float to the bottom or anything with her air magic. She literally hits every spire and roof on her way down and is in so much pain from her bruised, broken, and fractured everythings that the sorcerers have to use magic to heal her. Aldrik later tells her that he only did it because they have a ~bond~ and he knew she wasn't going to die, just get hurt, and if he'd known how badly she would have been hurt, he wouldn't have done it - but then he insults her some more and gets mad at her for not wanting to be #TeamMagic despite the RoofGate incident which... is one thing I'll give Vhalla. I would not exactly want to be #TeamMagic either if some self-righteous a-hole sexually harassed me + tried to murder me, even if it was "for my own good." But anyway, the deed is done. Vhalla has magic now -

Only she doesn't want it. And here's where my big issue with AIR AWAKENS (e.g. Vhalla) comes into play. Vhalla does nothing but whine, cry, complain, sulk, pout, cower, when she's not making moony eyes at her not one, not two, but three love interests. She is the most useless waste of space. The way she treats her alleged friends, Sareem and Roan, is disgusting. She whines and cries so much and threatens to give up her magic (called Eradication) to the point where her would-be magic tutor allows her to take a ridiculously long time to decide whether she wants training because Vhalla is such a special snowflake and such an overall pleasant person to be around, of course he would do her this solid. Probably he just wanted to postpone having contact with her as long as possible. Her personality can be described in one word: books. If there's a book around, Vhalla is going to tell you about how much she wants to read it, and if a person's around (unless it's Aldrik), Vhalla is going to tell you about how she'd rather be reading a book than talking to that person. I get that she's a library apprentice, but this "my whole personality is books" thing feels very lazy to me, and was overused way too much to make up for her lack of other hobbies or personality traits (besides bitchiness).

Also, her romance with Aldrik came out of the blue, honestly. I thought she had a crush on Baldair but no, as soon as she gets over the RoofGate incident (it takes like one day) they become BFFs and have lunch dates and garden parties and sketch under the sunset, even though he called her a worm after he nearly killed her. But honestly, any clout he gets for being a fancy lunch date disappears when Vhalla is framed for treason and held on trial and Aldrik just sits on his royal heiney and does nothing while Vhalla stares at him with big helpless eyes and cries some more. Oh, and the reason she was framed in the first place was because she didn't listen when Aldrik told her not to run into danger, saying, "I'LL SAVE THE DAY WITH THAT MAGIC I HAVEN'T TRAINED WITH YET BECAUSE I'M A BIG STUPID LOSER WHO DOESN'T DESERVE AN OWL OR A HOGWARTS LETTER!" gets to the scene of the danger, realizes she can't do anything, and cries for Aldrik to save her - which he does, because love interest. I was honestly kind of glad when she got tortured, tbh. I spent most of the book wanting to punch her in the face and then at the end someone does it for me.

I hear the series gets better as it goes on, so maybe this is a debut author problem. I noticed a lot of technical errors as well, such as words being used incorrectly or incorrect tense usage, whereas in the author's Loom saga, the quality and style of the writing was objectively better. New book, new you. The problem for me was that AIR AWAKENS was so hyped that my expectations were very high. I read a lot of fantasy and have very particular preferences of what I like, and it didn't help that I'd just read another fantasy romance novel about elemental magic right before this one called THE FIRE-LORD'S LOVER that was so much better. I ended up comparing the two unfavorably the whole time.

On a positive note, there were a few things I did like. Kova doesn't shirk from violence and she knows how to use it in a way that adds dramatic effect without feeling gratuitous. Some of her scenery descriptions are lovely (and more in line with what I expected from this book after reading Loom which I'm thinking now might have had a better editor), and I also liked that Vhalla isn't a virgin when we first meet her. It's refreshing to see heroines that have experimented with sex before meeting the love interest. I'm thinking part of the reason this book is so popular is that the audience reading it seems to be younger and not romance- or fantasy-genre readers, but YA-genre readers, so they're happier with taking things at face value rather than demanding explanations and back story for everything (like me). I know I'm pickier than most and sometimes this makes me look like a jerk when it comes to how I rate, but that's how I am. Your mileage may vary (and odds are, it will vary for the better). If you're a fan of books like CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE and THRONE OF GLASS (both of which I hated, FYI), you'll probably like this. Also, the cover's pretty. So there's that.

2 stars
Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
624 reviews963 followers
February 20, 2016
An overall stunner!

I went into this book barely knowing anything and without any specific expectations because I had a vague idea what it was about. Sorcerers? Library apprentices? Royal characters? It's quite hard to imagine them all tangled up into one big knot. Luckily as I went through the pages, I didn't experience difficulty in absorbing everything because it was so darn good!

The book mainly centers on the heroine Vhalla Yarl, a library apprentice who later on discovered that she was entirely something else... something more than just a library girl. And then there's this swoony, smart, a totally mysterious crown prince and sorcerer Aldrik who later on became her mentor in discovering more magical things. Things became more interesting from there and more discoveries were unraveled about Vhalla and everything in the palace.

This book is an incredibly written debut novel. Elise Kova sure knows how to manipulate everything in her plot-- from the characters' development and of course, the series of events. The world was also beautifully constructed and it sucked me right in. It actually has the Grisha feels and a bit of Red Queen feels. I just wish there's a map at the beginning though, to have my imagination be more stimulated about its beautiful world.

And as for the characters-- I adore them with all my heart. Vhalla is total sweetheart. Smart, feminine, and a very strong character. And of course, my lovey dovey Prince Aldrik who is now added to my list of book boyfriends. *swoons!


Prince Aldrik is what I'm looking for in a YA fantasy book. He's cocky and a bit sarcastic, but there's gentleness in him that will have you falling in love. He's also protective over Vhalla. You see, this is why I love royal characters! I basically swooned over Dorian from Throne of Glass and Prince Cal of Red Queen so there's no reason to dislike this newly found fictional boyfriend! Okay, Pearl, just stop blabbering! Anyway, Vhalla and Aldrik's relationship was also admirable here. There was no insta-love. Everything progressed at just the right and perfect timing.


What was slightly missing, in my opinion, was the twist. I kept wanting to know how things would pan out all throughout the book. Plus, there was a slow plot progression at first. Somehow, the book picked up and things started to become interesting after a few chapters and there were already some actions that made the book magnificent in the end.

The ending was surreal! The author left the final pages in a place where I can anticipate that there's so much more to come. Overall, it's a stunning, brilliant, and a promising start to a great series. I will definitely read the next book, Fire Falling. :)

(Thank you to Elise Kova for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. :))



Pearl's Book Journey (1)

Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 21 books13.5k followers
February 22, 2016

Elise has literally combined my favourite elements ( HAHA ELEMENTS GET IT ) into one books.
I have been waiting to read a fantastic elemental control book for a long time and this one has taken the prizes and ran with it.

I am so excited for this whole series.
509 reviews2,414 followers
January 24, 2016
This book and I got off on the wrong foot, really. It was probably the COMPLETELY inconsistent pacing that threw me off. I mean, sometimes things happen way too fast, (like the romance, ugh. More on that later) while others take foreverrrr (like, unfortunately, the rest of the plot).

So, let's elaborate.


1.) The pacing - Like I said, it was totally inconsistent. Other than what I've mentioned earlier, there were a few times when a weeks have gone by in a span of a page, and sometimes a single day takes a chapter. It could've worked, but there was just something rough about the transitions.

2.) The convenience and predictability - Let's face it, this book was kind of one of those formula books where you're never really shocked about anything since you saw things coming seven chapters away. You're just so sure that the heroine isn't in any real danger, and that just takes away most of the excitement.

3.) The love triangle - I just don't get the point in it. It was senseless, trivial, and just overall really annoying. Did it add to the story? Nope. Did it give me any additional feels? Heck no. Did it serve a greater purpose for the plot development? Ha. No.

4.) The minor characters - They were INCONSISTENT AS HECK. ***minor spoilers for this section***

Exhibit A: Sareem, Vhalla's close friend and one side of the love triangle. See, at first I was ALL for Team Sareem (hey, that rhymed), but then when he discovered a few of the secrets she kept, he exploded and turned into a complete asshole. AND THEN a few pages later he's back to being a "good friend." Kay.

Exhibit B: Roan, another one of Vhalla's "friends." She's totally protective and caring about the first, but when she found out about all the Sareem/Vhalla business, she went on bitch mode, which sucks because, hey, what happened to sisters before misters?


1.) The character growth - Okay, so, I didn't LOVE Vhalla at first--she was okay, mostly just your regular Special Snowflake heroine (you know, the kind who were really weak but were still labeled as "The One"), but she turned into a more believable heroine as the story flew by. She wasn't unbelievably badass or unbelievably petty--she was just your average, relatable heroine, who was smart, open-minded and kind.

2.) The romance... at some point - AT FIRST the romance was a tad too fast paced and had no chemistry, but HOLY CRAP by the last 3/4ths of the book, I was just exploding with feels for a certain ship in this book.

3.) The ending - This book ended so strongly that I had to give this book 2.5 stars despite disliking so many things about it. There was a brilliant twist, intense action and a lot of things going on. It's the kind of ending that'll leave you wanting a lot more.


If you've read and enjoyed the more popular YA high fantasy novels out there, like Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass, you might find yourself enjoying Air Awakens as well. But if you think you're not ready to dig into another cookie cutter YA, this might not be the book for you.


Thank you so much to Elise Kova for providing me with a copy of Air Awakens for review!

Blog | Deadly Darlings
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Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
404 reviews913 followers
December 5, 2017
To anyone who's ever wanted to see Aang, the Last Airbender, in the body of a teenage girl (but NOT Korra), look no further. But if you're starting the series on that premise, be warned - this book is, first and foremost, a YA romance.

Within its genre, Air Awakens amazing. Vhalla is an apprentice in the imperial castle's library who discovers her magic by inadvertently saving crown prince Aldrik's life. She becomes a Windwalker, the first in 150 years. Her character development throughout the plot is really well done; she opens her mind and starts to think and act more confidently under Aldrik's influence.

Aldrik = new book bf. He's a "sweet but only shows it to one select girl" kind of guy. And he does it so well!!

The second book has been nicely set up by book 1, so if anyone would like to join me I'm happy to BR Fire Falling.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,594 followers
July 18, 2023
*** 3.333 ***

A buddy read with my wonderful friends, because we obviously wanted to feel like we were preteens again:):):)

I am getting ooooollllllddddd!!! Nothing reminds me more of that then reading some Young Adult books. I guess I realize I am old, but at times I hang on to a denial and want to dive into a book and have the same feelings I would have had had I been between 12 and 17 years old... This is why I feel it is almost unfair for me to rate this book, since I obviously am not the targeted audience, but I did read it and I should be as honest as I always try to be.

"..."“Vhalla wasn’t exactly good at relationships as she preferred to spend more time with books than people.”..."

Vhalla, the 18 year old library assistant, has lived in the Castle and has been apprenticed to the Library Master since she was 9 years old. She loves her life and the books that surround her. All is going according to her vision for where she belongs, until a faithful day when word comes that The Prince has been gravely injured and the library staff are asked to do some research in order to find a cure for him. Vhalla throws herself tirelessly into it and the notes she comes up with save the young man's life. However, her efforts have not been lost to the Prince and the Minister of Magic and the two of them become very interested in her. After a series of communications between Vhalla and the brooding, dark, handsome, mysterious and misunderstood Aldrik, (we wouldn't have him any other way, right ladies?!), he leads her into discovering her talent for controlling Air. Even better, there has not been an air magician, or Air-Walker, born in the Empire in the last 100-150 years. He is determined that the Empire could use her talents and wants to tutor her, but Vhalla wants to keep her old life. Soon it becomes obvious that is not possible and she has to make some hard choices.

"...“Aldrik laughed darkly. “What did you think I was?” he snarled. “Did you think I went to war and read books?” Vhalla took another step back. “You ran head-first into my daily hell. Would it not be more convenient if weapons of death and torture could not talk back?” Vhalla forced herself not to tremble as she looked at him. He glared at her; the orange of the fire reflecting in the black mirrors of his eyes.”..."

Ahhh, Aldrik! I think if I was that young and inexperienced in life girl, I would have been as smitten with him as Vhalla is. However, being who I am, I wanted to smack him on many, many occasions and teach him how to treat a lady, no matter what class of society her birth put her in. His younger, also good looking and charming brother, is an example of a rich, famous, self-absorbed playboy, with love-them-and-leave-them attitude, who seems to be able to charm every lady out of her underwear with hardly an effort. You know, that magic that comes with OK looks and lots and lots of money and power? That one! Enter wide-eyed and innocent Vhalla, who looks forward to her birthday so she can have a lemon-cake once a year, and we have three young, self-absorbed and oblivious people, so no wonder things go wacko at the end.

"...“With all the bravery she possessed, Vhalla crossed the distance between them; he straightened and looked down at her, imposing. Vhalla swallowed hard and tried to muster her last scrap of confidence. There would be time later to ask him about the real reasons behind the war. For now, they needed to go home.”..."

And this quote is what bugged me the most in the whole book - why did she never ask the important questions??????? She is supposedly a smart, intelligent ans well read young woman, why did she never cut to the core of what was happening around her, being satisfied with just the most perfunctory answers about what is going on??? Every time they spoke about the imprisoned Air-Walkers, why did she never ask Why??? What did they do with them and why were they so afraid of them? Why did she never ask about the war and what were the reasons for it? We got all encompassing descriptions of a room, but nothing about a war that is raging and engulfing the Empire? We know tons about the Prince wearing only black and the ways he broods, but nothing of the actual way her power was used and why it might be considered a heresy??? In so many occasions by asking the right question she could have figured out the outcomes and who is involved, but she was either to shortsighted, or to lazy, or to stupid to ask! I refuse to accept that she is stupid, so what could have possibly been the reason for her inability to see what is in front of her??? Those missed opportunities drove me insane and I hope they were not just plot devises, because that would mean that the author underestimates her readers' intelligence...

"...“For all his orders and sneers, his commanding presence, and his intimidating always all-black ensemble, Vhalla saw something different. She simply saw someone who was lonely, someone who could likely count their friends on one hand, and perhaps wanted to one day use two hands. He was nothing like the man she first met, the man who wore a mask to meet palace expectations.””..."

The story is told in a linear manner and is very easy to read. There is nothing wrong with the writing style, nor with the story, really, but for a Fantasy it barely scratched the surface of the magic, while concentrating heavily on the Romance. However, it did pick-up with some action and fighting at about the 80% mark and was quite good to the end. I would say this book would do best with young females, who are into the self-discovering stage and appreciate revaluations about themselves through the young characters in the book. It is heavy on the angst, but that is something even I loved while growing up:) So, if you are or have a preteen or a teenager in your life, this is a good, clean read that would be fun for them. I am not sure if I would recommend it for older adults:):):)

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful Books to come!
Profile Image for Daiane.
179 reviews205 followers
October 9, 2020
“You are my friend, whatever this commoner’s friendship is worth.” “It is worth very much.”

In a far away kingdom

A common library apprentice who spends her working time trying to find new books to read

Met the arrogant prince famous for his sharp tongue and skill with sorcerer.

After some events she finds herself trusting in the dark prince and they start to spend time together.

In truth, Vhalla found out she was also a sorceress.

“Two sorcerers can give birth to a Common. Two Commons can give birth to a sorcerer. Magic chooses us.”

And a really special one. She could use the wind's power however she wanted.

But was that really what she wanted?

“What’s wrong with books?”
“What is wrong is that you cannot learn how to really do things from books. They are starting points for principle, theory, and concept. Your mind understands, but your body does not know until you perform the act yourself. Without action and practice, your hands will not oblige. Experience is a far greater teacher.”

Even though I thought this book needed some editing, it was a complete surprise for me. I can't lie to you, the cover was what really called me. When I got into the page, almost all of my friends had reviews with two words: Read it. And I did. And I must tell you...

The world building is really simple and the glow is in the characters. I was expecting a boring MC who would stay with her books and act as the damsel in distress all the time. In the beginning, Vhalla was going through that path and I was already judging her. I almost couldn't take anymore lack of confidence and all the adoration she had for guys, just like a kid. The prince was also no good. He couldn't have been more of an asshole. But then the story went on and when I noticed I just couldn't sleep before the end!

With the fast paced plot, the characters were able to evolve in such great speed that I began to love them all. Usually we only get to know the main characters well and it's hard to have a great understand of secondary characters. Here they were all alive. The good and the bad, the wise and the clueless and the innocent and the liar. From the royal family to the servants, all of them had their own distinct characteristics.

“Be careful, my lady.”
“I’m not a lady,” Vhalla said softly, opening and closing her tingling fingers.
“We know.”

Kova created a simple and amazing world for this strong debut. So, for you who is reading this small review, I only have two words: Read it. And I hope the magic capture you until the end, just like it did to me.

“You are a dear friend. For whatever my royal ass of a friendship is worth.” "It is worth very much."
Profile Image for Nadia Awadi.
190 reviews248 followers
July 30, 2021
Why am I rereading so many book !

So I would say, I like Aldrik less now and I think this should be 3 stars but 20-year-old me gave it four stars and I respect that. But I'm pretty sure that this is due to the fact that I May or May not have lost faith in humanity and do not believe in love anymore cause I read this 3 years ago. Anywho, the first review is very funny tho. Yaay me!


A conversation between cynical me and nice me. Hopefully this isn't too weird.

me: So why did we like this book?

Nice me: Aldrik is so hot! And I like puppies.

Cynical me: Like? This was mediocre at best! You may as well be insane for giving it 4 stars.

Nice me: This deserves all of the stars in the universe. And Aldrik is one of the brightest stars I've ever read about. He stole my breath away with his 'I'm a dark prince and I just need a hug' attitude. And...

Cynical me: You like kittens too! Of course. How can you like that baffoon? Honestly, he didn't even make my ovaries swoon. And they are easily swoonable. EASILY. He was angry 90% of the time and when he wasn't, he was mildly annoyed with a smirk on his face.

Nice me: I would love to see that smirk. Honey, you have been single for too long. Maybe your ovaries aren't working properly. Because mine exploded everytime Alydrik came into the room. And let me remind you: he's a PRINCE.

Cynical me: Prince my ass! He didn't do anything for Vhalla. Nothing when she needed him. And can we talk about the semi-love rectangle going on?

Nice me: I hated that actually.

Cynical me: Oh! So you are not a complete moron.

Nice me: But...I didn't mind it that much. And we all know: Aldrik is her one and only. Her destined star-crossed lover. Waiting for her. To heal him and love him and..

Cynical me: Blah blah blah, it's only fitting that you believe in soulmates. Okay, enough about that whole decieving feeling called 'love'. Let's talk about the plot. It was, hmmm, I can't find the right word?

Nice me: Original, Amazing, mesmerising, lovely..

Cynical me: Typical! That's the word. Vahalla is a special snowflake who caught the attention of two princes and still think she's not that pretty.

Nice me: We both have low self-esteem so I kind of understand her. And I care about the characters more than the plot which wasn't bad. And the writing was pretty good.

Cynical me: That makes sense, I'm going back to write more depressing poetry now.

Nice me: Oooooh, I'm writing some poetry too. Listen:

Aldrik your love made me blind
Aldrik I know that you're hurt inside
But you don't have to cry.
Because I will be here for you
Hugging you to my chest
Keeping you close
And once you're tired
I will take you home.

Cynical me *internal vomit*

Nice me: I won! Hope you guys enjoyed this review and wish you all the best!

Cynical me: If you hated this review please give it a dislike. PLEASE.

Nice me: There's no dislike button in goodreads.

Cynical me: Than write dislike in the comments and we shall pray that these reviews will vanish from existence.

Nice me: Well, ¡Adios mi amigos!

Cynical me: Why are you speaking in Spanish?
December 20, 2017
Update 12/21/2017
Is it true? Rumor has it Goodreads won't allow international giveaways of paperback copies next year? I hope that's not true Because that would be such a Way to ruin our fun dear Goodreads gods!Not to mention a form of discriminating readers.

Does anyone have more information about this?

I love giveaways, I've won a couple of e-book copies and a paperback copy that way. Giveaways that don't reach the whole globe are a form of discrimination. If authors are willing to spend the money to send paperbacks copies for winners EVERYWHERE, ANYWHERE because they recognize that the whole globe isnt the US why should anyone stop them?. If you like me have fun entering giveaways of paperback copies enter this one. I read this book thanks to Kindle Unlimited and I love it! It's an amazing Fantasy romance and Mrs. Kova always opens her giveaways for everyone, everywhere! Thank you Elise Kova for opening this giveaway internationally, I hope Goodreads doesn't follow through their crazy idea of cancelling International giveaways. That would be beneficial ONLY to the publishers that always open their giveaways ONLY on the us, therefore discriminating international readers.

Enter this


If you prefer to buy I think this one is just 0.99. I don't know whether that's promotional discount or the regular price but If I were you I'd give it a try. It's really good!

Original giveaway alert

************GIVEAWAY ALERT UPDATE ************
.MAY 5TH!!!
Author every country in the globe.
Good news for Aussie readers
They included us in the giveaway

Bad news, if you win, they'll send you your book through -your-book-got-lost-in-the-mail-but-we-swear-we-send-it- A.K.A. book depository.

Still I'm so excited to participate, wish me luck.
Profile Image for Ashley.
370 reviews111 followers
June 28, 2016
Okay, on a side note, here are my swoon worthy fancastings for Aldrik, Vhalla, and Baldair <3333

Crown Prince Aldrik


Prince Baldair



Wow, what a surprise! I don't even know how I stumbled across this hidden gem, but it'd been sitting on my shelf for a few weeks, and I thought, why not? I admit, the only reason this isn't a full five stars for me was because I found the first thirty pages hard to get into because I couldn't connect with the Vhalla as a timid library apprentice. But damn, did she grow on me. By the end she was a complete bad ass, and the last line...

"They were sending here to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear."



Okay, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to have the complete set <33333

There is no insta love, if anyone has read Sora's Quest, and totally ships the slow burn relationship between Crash/Sora, then this book is for you!

Aldrik, oh wow, I LOVE his character. Too often, I read about princes who are total manwhores and obnoxiously cocky, but Aldrik, yeah he was a nice breath of fresh air. He and Vhalla had me screaming explicits at one in the morning, and I'm surprised no one came running to my room, telling me to shut the hell up. He's tall, dark-haired, handsome, and he ADMITS he's not a good man, he's witty and snarky, and definitely swoon worthy. One of my new favorites<3 Can't wait to see where Fire Falling takes us with their relationship.

I get the feeling everything will be more epic in book two, (even though this book was pretty epic), I'm excited to see where this series is going, especially after the ending to the first book, and argh November come sooner!!!!!

If you like Element bending, Throne of Glass, Fantasy, and just want a damn good book to read, then pick this up!!!

(Oh, and I forgot to mention the other prince:) Baldair, yeah, wowza. Can't wait for more of him in book two too:))

Profile Image for Pamela J. (Fantasy Book Nook) .
20 reviews24 followers
June 27, 2016
Spoiler Free Review: Elise Kova is a new author and self-published, but don’t let that dissuade you. This book is the type that completely draws you into its world. I quickly became engrossed in it and near obsessive contemplating the characters and their fate. Air Awakens is everything you want in a fantasy/YA book: a solid premise, relatable characters, amazing relationship development, entertaining, and well written.

Vhalla Yarl is a library apprentice accidently discovers she is a sorcerer with an affinity for wind. The magic in this book focuses on four elements- earth, water, fire, and air- which correspond to geographic regions (north, south, west, and east). Parallels have been drawn to Avatar: The Last Airbender.

When Vhalla is ‘awoken’ into her powers, she struggles with her preconceived notions of sorcerers. Ironic, as her new abilities now make her one of the most powerful and sought after of her ilk. However, she is given a choice- to accept her new fate and train or eradicate her powers completely. Neither is a decision to be taken lightly. Much of the first half the book focuses on her overcoming her misinformed perception of sorcerers and fear of rejection by her friends and society.

This is a quintessential YA book in the sense that the protagonist struggles with identity and her place in the world, all while dealing with growing romantic feelings. What really makes this book stand apart is that there is no insta-love. There is a fully developed, drawn out relationship rift with tension and conflict. There is a journey into friendship and more as both Vhalla and Aldrik slowly learn about the other and build trust. In other words, it’s real. This, in conjunction with it’s multifaceted characters, is what propels this book from a stereotypical storyline into a life-consuming world that keeps you awake reading until 3am.

See more of my reviews at: http://FantasyBookNook.com and like us at Facebook.com/TheFantasyBookNook
Profile Image for Lucie V..
1,012 reviews2,050 followers
June 14, 2022
✅ Gorgeous cover
✅ Hate-to-love
✅ Magic
✅ World-building
✅ Plot and pace
✅ Characters
❗️❗️ Kind of cliffhanger

Wow! This book is a mix of elemental magic, court scheming, romance, and war. Add to this a dark, mysterious prince and a clever library apprentice, and get ready to be hooked up. I know the reviews are quite mixed for this book, I think this is one of those cases when you either really enjoy the book or you hate it. Luckily for me, I really enjoyed it!

Vhalla is a library apprentice whose whole world revolves around books and knowledge until she saves the crown prince's life... with magic. Shock revelation, she is a sorcerer, even better, she is the first (and only) Windwalker to exist (it's been around 150 years since there was a Windwalker alive). The problem is that sorcerers are not well-liked in this world so Vhalla has to navigate her old life with this new knowledge and she needs to decide if she wants to become a true sorcerer or if she would rather have her powers stripped from her and go on with her life.

I admit that Vhalla was getting on my nerves at the beginning, but I learned to like her as she changed throughout the book. The same goes for Prince Aldrik, he went from an unnerving ass to a complex character hidden behind the pretense of being an ass. There is not a lot of romance in this book, but we can see attraction growing between some of the characters so I expect more romance in the next books. Still, I really enjoyed reading about them and seeing their cute interactions.

Fire needs air to live. Air fuels fire, stokes it, and makes it burn brighter and hotter than it ever could alone. But too much air will snuff it completely, just as too many flames will consume all the air. They are far greater than the sum of their parts together, but are equally as dangerous to each other’s existence.

The world-building in this book is really well done. Even though we have to learn about new characters, geography, war, and history, everything falls into place perfectly. I had no problem understanding what was going on and it was not all thrown up in my face on the very first page.

This book really captured my attention and deprived me of sleep. I just couldn't put it down, especially for the last 100 pages or so. I can't wait to read the next book, because the ending of Air Awakens is intense!!

They were sending her to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear.

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Profile Image for Carolin Wahl.
Author 13 books1,055 followers
July 30, 2022
3.75 Sterne

Sehr klassische Fantasy, mit alt bewährten Tropes, spannend erzählt und mit Aldrick einen tollen Feuerlord aka. Prinzen.
Schwierig war die wenige Innovation und die absolut seltsame Angewohnheit, die Protagonistin in brenzligen Situationen einfach in Ohnmacht fallen zu lassen, um dann ihr und dem Leser die Handlung nach dem black out zu erzählen. Äh, ja.
Überpowerte Schneeflocke, Love-Triangle seien auch mal dahingestellt, zu manchen Nebenfiguren hätte ich mir eine größere Bindung gewünscht
Aber: es war super unterhaltsam, hätte mich als Teenager vermutlich total von den Socken gehauen und ich mochte die Liebesgeschichte (bis auf das Drumherum) sehr! (:
Profile Image for Darcey.
988 reviews205 followers
December 27, 2019
This was SO GOOD. Sure, it had a plot hole or two and I was occasionally confused, but I still loved it so much. The characters were the true cream of the crop, though I also loved the storyline and the writing style, Elise Kova is a STUNNING writer.
The characters were just so well written! I think Aldrik is honestly the love of my life, he was witty and cruel (major Cardan vibes) but also sweet and incredibly hot sounding. If he and Vhalla weren’t so perfect together (and I am shipping that ship like no other) then I would totally steal him from her and never let him go. And let’s talk about Vhalla. She was strong but not too strong, brave but not too brave, clever but not too clever. And she was such a sweet character. I loved her as a heroine, almost as much as I loved Aldrik as a.... hero? villain? Anyway I love them both.
And some of the quotes were just gorgeous. Quotes like “she simply saw someone who was lonely, someone who could likely count their friends on one hand, and perhaps wanted to one day use two hands.” and “you can read all the books in the library, be wiser than the master himself someday, and then you will die having never really done anything.”
Basically, I loved this book, read it!
Profile Image for Julezreads.
229 reviews916 followers
August 8, 2022
Zuerst: Ich hatte Spaß beim Lesen, bin durch die Seiten geflogen und hab mich generell unterhalten gefühlt. Trotz eines gewissen Euphorie-Gefühls überwiegen im Nachhinein doch leider die Kritikpunkte. Der Einstieg ins Buch fällt leicht, vor allem weil die Welt nicht zu komplex ist oder anders formuliert: Das Magiesystem wird (noch?) nicht in Gänze erklärt. Mit den Protagonisten hatte ich einige Probleme, auf der einen Seite wirkten sie recht charakterlos, auf der anderen Seite verhielten sie sich unsympathisch (Aldrik: Turmszene etc.) und unnachvollziehbar (Vhalla's Umgang mit Sareem). So konnte mich die Liebesgeschichte zwischen den beiden emotional auch nicht erreichen🥲. Die Grundidee hinter der Geschichte ist wahnsinnig spannend, dennoch fehlte es mir dann doch ein wenig an Originalität (vllt kommt die durch mehr Worldbuilding in Band 2?🥹)und unerwarteten Wendungen. Der "Oha🤯"-Moment blieb aus. All das sorgt dafür, dass ich das Buch nicht perfekt fand, aber dennoch sehr unterhaltsam!
June 29, 2016

Now that I have time, the gravity of what I promised lays heavily on my shoulders. How am I not going to fangirl about a guy?? What's the point otherwise? I mean, obviously I have a ship and obviously it was my favorite part about the book-I mean, duh-it's me we're talking about here. And yeah, sure, there are fifty million things I guess I could talk about, but why bother if I can't talk about what I want to?

So, alright whatever, fuck it-All I want to talk about is Prince Aldrik, so that's what I'm going to talk about. Short, sweet, and to the point.

The prince spirited her away the next day, and two days after that. Each time there was some clever excuse, and when those ran out he simply materialized between the shelves in the library and they would slink off together like children.

In a sea of fantasy, Aldrik, wait, scratch that, Prince Aldrik is exactly what I have been looking for. He's snarky. He's sarcastic. And, let's face it, he's one of those misunderstood bad boys. I. LOVE. THAT. He's dark-haired and silver tongued and...well, I'm sure you get the picture. Every time he was in the story my heart was pounding and my stomach erupted in butterflies. I really couldn't ask for more in a story, especially during this busy time for me.

"You are my friend, whatever this commoner's friendship is worth."
When he spoke it was slow and deliberate, little more than a whisper. His voice had a richness to it that she had never heard before. "It is worth very much." His eyes consumed hers.

I will admit that, at one point early on, I put this down because I just wasn't feeling it-I mean, the writing is nothing special and I've never really been a fan of 'I am's instead of I'm and other such contraction draw outs. But, honestly, sometimes all you need is a book that makes you smile, swoon, and wish for your ship to sail. And, for that, this book was everything. Onto the next.

*disclaimer* Was in middle of starting second paragraph when I heard news that extremely upset me so this won't be a good review like I had wanted. I also lost the will to care. At least it's just the first book. *shrugs*

For more of my reviews, please visit:


I am SO in love. Thank you, Brittney.....Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouuuuuuuuu!!!!!

I am so beyond words happy I trudged through and got past that...odd...beginning! Everything after had me all smiley and giddy and excited and a totally happy little monkey. I cannot WAIT to write a review on this....I've not seen the guys' names much in reviews in specifics so this is going to be REALLY hard for me.

 photo tumblr_o0ynpdIt2x1s2iwamo1_250_zpsfheshwlb.gif

Challenge accepted.
Profile Image for Judithrosebooks .
491 reviews1,518 followers
March 15, 2023
La verdad es que no esperaba que me gustase tanto cuando lo empecé, pero llegando casi a la mitad del libro fue un enganche total y no he podido soltarlo. Estoy deseando ponerme con el siguiente.

Vhalla es una aprendiz de la biblioteca real, ha vivido prácticamente toda su vida rodeada de libros. No conoce nada más fuera de esas paredes, a pesar de haber vivido su infancia en el campo.

De pronto, su magia empieza a Despertar. Ella tiene sentimientos encontrados, siente que no quiere ser una hechicera, la gente normal los teme y ella quiere ser una chica normal. Pero, a la vez, su curiosidad va aumentando y su relación con La Torre y el Príncipe, hace que pueda entender más y mejor el mundo de la magia.

En definitiva, creo que es un buen libro de magia, juvenil sin escenas Spicy. Así que si os apetece un libro de magia, con un posible Enemies To Lovers tenéis leerlo.
Profile Image for • Lindsey Dahling •.
323 reviews644 followers
June 18, 2021
The fact that it took me three months to finish this should speak for itself, but don’t worry—I’ll still rant unintelligibly for a bit.

1. The two princes are the only reason this book didn’t get 1 star.
They are the only two interesting characters in the book. They serve has a nice contrast to each other, both in personality and looks. Unfortunately, they’re really not present for much of the book. You don’t even meet the golden prince until over halfway through.

2. The book kept putting me to sleep.
LITERALLY. I couldn’t get through more than five ebook pages (ON MY PHONE. PHONE-SIZED PAGES) before I was passed out. I started using it as a sleeping aid. Two days ago, I kid you not, I took a three hour nap after 20 ebook pages. TWENTY PHONE-SIZED PAGES.

Shockingly, it’s not because I have narcolepsy, but because there was just NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENING. We get it. Vhalla, the main character, is a wind walker. That’s super rare. She also likes to work in the library. Neato. I don’t need to read about that for over 50% of the book. In fact, the villain wasn’t even introduced until at least 60% of the way in. Up until that point, I had resigned myself to there being absolutely no villain and this was just a long, drawn out whine-fest about how awful it is to be *super* special with *super special* powers and a *super special powerful* prince take an interest in you. Life is so hard.

3. Dear god, the storytelling was ALL OVER THE PLACE.
Here we’re dealing with some heavy topics, like how the prince has killed people of all ages (including children), but the writing felt like I was reading something written for middle schoolers (11-14 year olds). For one, almost every sentence consisted of Vhalla’s name. Are we just not going to use pronouns? We really need to use her name THAT OFTEN? Then, any time the story got too close to being exciting or interesting, Vhalla would faint/blackout. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. Even the big fight scene (where she faced off with villains who literally hadn’t been a problem the entire book until that very scene), Vhalla blacked out as soon as she prepared to fight back. SO WE DIDN’T EVEN GET TO SEE IT. The chapter just ended with her reaching out her arm and the next chapter begin with her waking up in yet another room she doesn’t recognize. WHAT. THE. HELL.

4. I only finished this book because people love this damn series and I thought SURELY (and don’t call me Shirley) it would get better.
I was wrong. Shirley was wrong. Dishonor on you. Dishonor on your cow.

5. Will I be continuing on with the series?
NO. Unless someone tells me there’s a sex scene. Or a giant battle scene. Then maybe. But, I doubt the PG middle school writing would allow it. Vhalla would probably faint before she got to bone town anyway.
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,309 followers
December 1, 2015
"They were sending her to war, so she would go and become something they had every right to fear."

I'll be honest, I found the first half of the story to be a little slow. There was A LOT of history to remember regarding the sorcerers, especially with the Windwalkers. Therefore, I recommend taking notes or bookmarking a few things to refer back to when characters mention certain things because it's a lot to take in especially if you're slow like me. :P

Not a lot of action happened either in the first half so I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to see Vhalla and the rest of the sorcerers actively using their magic but instead we just get a few glimpses here and there and just minor tricks that Vhalla has learned. Most of the first half in my opinion was reserved for character development and a history lesson.

Then while everything was rainbows and unicorns, Elise Kova just BAMMMMMMMMM, throws the action right in your face out of nowhere when you probably least expected it and I LOVED IT. The second half of this book was absolutely golden and turned the whole story around for me. I wanted action and I definitely got it!

But that ending though. OMG. I can't wait to see this new, BADASS side of Vhalla!

I love how original this book was and I honestly think we need more books with sorcery! In fact, I think this might be the first book I've read that has sorcerers. But Air Awakens is definitely a great start to a new series! I can't wait to see what else Elise Kova has in store for her readers because I have a feeling we're in for a wild ride. :)
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